Title: ALL ABOUT US
Author: Ashley Erin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Re-release Date: March 26th
It took twenty-four hours for Emma’s world to shatter, leaving her broken. Returning to her childhood home, Emma wonders if it could be exactly what she needs to heal.
Dane finally has a chance at the girl he lost all those years ago. When Emma blows back into his world, he knows he won’t let her go again.
They’re drawn together, their chemistry undeniable. Emma just needs to decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart when it’s just begun to heal.
I begin walking backwards so I can check how my girls are moving, not paying attention to my surroundings. It’s too late for my balance when I feel a ridge behind my knees and I’m falling, quickly submerged into the full water trough I hadn’t noticed by the fence.
“Shit!” I holler, sputtering as I try to push my hair out of my face and crawl out of the water at the same time.
Rough hands grip my arms, pulling me out as I yelp in surprise. A deep, masculine laugh fills me with horror and embarrassment.
Oh no . . .
As I’m set on the ground, the hands falling away once I’m steady, I shiver.
“I guess that’s one way to cool down.” The low, amused voice sends tingles down my spine.
Pushing my soaking hair out of my face and closing my eyes to gather my wits, I take a deep breath before looking up at my rescuer. My brain freezes as I stare at Dane in shock and embarrassment.
Oh. My. God.
The burning of my face betrays me as a blush spreads over my cheeks and I resist burying my face into my hands. Dane chuckles and slowly moves his gaze over me, starting at my sandaled feet and making his way up my bare legs to my soaked yoga shorts and tank top.
I can feel it clinging to me and the cool breeze causing my nipples to stand at attention, like this moment wasn’t already humiliating enough. Fuck my life.
Lastly, he examines my flushed face, the mess that is my wet and tangled hair and settles on my green eyes with a sexy grin.
Trying to maintain some dignity, I arch a brow at the humored expression in his gaze and decide to return the favor. I haven’t seen Dane since he was eleven years old and at twenty-four, he has become a devastatingly handsome man. His jeans and shirt accentuate his strong, well-toned muscles. He is tall and I need to tilt my head back slightly to examine his face. His strong and chiseled jaw, short, perfectly styled hair, and pale green eyes complete the swoon worthy package.
He was cute as a boy, but the man in front of me has ignited my hormones as my mind wanders to all the dirty things I could do to him, starting with those kissable lips. This train of thought makes me blush even darker and I quickly move my eyes away from his lips to his eyes.
His shocked expression at my boldness is apparent at the drop in his jaw and I smirk at him cheekily. This past year has changed me into a shell of who I was, but I’m not the shy ten-year- old he once knew, the one who followed him around doing whatever he wanted just to spend time with him.
Thirteen years have passed since I last saw Dane and his brother Ryan. They were both away working when I visited last. Their sister, Lia, has been my best friend since before we understood what a friend was. This family was once a huge part of my life, I’m hoping that connection still remains.
Finally feeling a little more composed, considering the circumstances, I grin at him mischievously and before he can stop me, I step in and give him a hug. My heart kicks up a notch when his hard muscles press against me, I can’t help my mind from wandering straight back into the gutter.
Stepping back quickly I smirk at the water now soaking his front before the hard ridges of his abs molding to his shirt distracts me. Dragging my gaze away from the delectable muscles teasing me, I check to make sure I haven’t physically started to drool.
The thrumming of my body reacting to his has me squirming as I try to refocus my thoughts away from imagining what it would be like to run my hands over his stomach and . . .
What the fuck is wrong with me? This is Dane. We used to go on adventures in the forest and have movie nights in their rec room. What is it about this reunion that has shifted him from friend to a man my heart flutters over? Blushing at the humiliating entrance back into his life and the line my thoughts are crossing, I search for the first thing I can think of to say.
“Where are Lia and Ryan?” I must be imagining the disappointment that flashes across his face at the abrupt shift. There is no way he could be thinking along the same lines as me, I know how awful I look. The shadows under my eyes, the heaviness I now carry with me, I hardly recognize myself when I look in the mirror.
“Lia had some work she needed to get done for new clients and Ryan is checking the south fence line. I came to invite you over for dinner at Lia’s request.” He smirks at me as I stand soaking wet in front of him. “Dinner is at six, so you have time to—compose yourself.”
Ignoring his banter, I gratefully accept the invitation as I did not stop along the way to pick up any supplies. With one last chuckle and a look I can’t decipher he saunters away from me. My eyes seem to be glued to him as he walks away, his jeans snugly forming to his perfect ass. Mentally shaking myself I peel my eyes away before turning to the house.
Title: ALL ABOUT HOPE
Author: Ashley Erin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 26th!
Friends with benefits.
Toe curling, ecstasy inducing, and completely secret.
Alex and Lia succumb to their scorching attraction, striking a deal of no-strings sex. Neither of them want a commitment, both of them are unable to stop the sparks from flying when they’re together.
Feelings develop, old fears surface, and sex is no longer enough. Will a glimmering sense of hope allow them to let go of the past, or will their secret blow up, leaving them shattered?
Ollie runs to the end of the arena, waiting for my cue. Kicking my heels out, I say, “Whoa.” He slides to a stop, the tracks he’s left behind are straight and true.
After leaving Emma’s house an hour ago, I desperately needed to get my mind off weddings, and relationships, and stupid men who fuck me and then avoid me after giving me a taste of something I forgot I desperately needed.
So, I saddled Ollie and have been going through some reining patterns. Show season is upon us, the first in just over a month, and I want to be sure we’re ready.
Lifting my right rein, I roll my spur into his left flank. He spins on the spot, the room around us blurring with the speed of the spin. Stopping him, I let him rest a moment before lifting my left rein and this time rolling my spur into his right flank. He spins in the opposite direction, the tightness of the circle envied by many.
Ollie is eight years old and has been my reining horse since we entered the Futurity, the chance for first time reining horses to show what they have and win big, when he was three years old. In the five years I’ve had him, the bond we’ve formed is envied both in and out of the arena. He will be with me until the day he dies, despite offers of tens of thousands of dollars to buy him.
Patting Ollie on his neck, I frown when I see Alex through the large windows at the end of the arena. Everything I’ve been trying to clear my head of comes back with a vengeance. It really bothers me that Alex initiated what happened that night, and then proceeded to avoid me like I’m a carrier of the plague.
I didn’t ask him to pin me against the counter and kiss me with an explosive passion that still has my body thrumming six months later. Nor did I ask him to wrap my legs around his waist and fuck me until I had the most earth shattering orgasm I’ve ever experienced.
Growling, I nudge Ollie into a canter, circling the arena working on lead changes until we are both covered in a sheen of sweat. I love the speed of this sport, and the connection between horse and rider. It’s a testament to how frustrated I am that I don’t feel better after a solid hour of working.
Slowing Ollie to a trot, I begin our cooldown. When his breathing has slowed, I dismount and walk him around the arena a couple times to ensure he’s cooled down enough. Leading him to the tie stall, I quickly untack him and rub him down until his coat shines before settling him into his stall with some feed and his supplements. The entire time I perform my tasks, I’m remembering that night with such acuity that by the time I’m done putting his tack away, my body is quivering in need.
Scowling, I clench my thighs trying to alleviate the ache, getting more and more pissed off at Alex the entire time. He did this to me. I was fine. I met my own needs and didn’t need anything from anyone. Now, I can’t come unless it’s to images in my head of that night with Alex. He’s ruined my ability to need nothing from anyone.
Flipping the lights, I burst through the door cursing under my breath and crash into a hard, hot body. Glancing up, I step back into the now closed door of the barn. “Alex.”
Alex’s hazel eyes take in my disheveled appearance. My hair is wild from running patterns with Ollie, my skin covered in a light layer of sweat and dust. When his eyes fall on the slight sliver of skin showing between my jeans and tank top, his eyes shoot back to mine where they bore into my soul. He steps back a foot, his eyes moving between mine and the barn door as he tries to think of something to say. “I didn’t know you were in the barn.”
“I was working Ollie. We have a show in May.” Tucking my hands in my back pockets, I lean back, propping one foot against the wall, trying to ignore the way my body has lit up from the inside. I’ve spent the last ninety minutes replaying that one night, and now the object of my desire is standing here looking at me with false indifference. Despite his best efforts, I know he’s still attracted to me, because if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be avoiding me all of the damn time.
When he starts to turn without another word, I shove off the wall, closing the distance between us.
Enough is enough.
I fist my hand in his shirt when he moves to walk away again, and step into him, tilting my head up so he can’t avoid looking at me. “You’ve been avoiding me.”
“No . . .” He tries to look away, but I raise my other hand and hold it against the back of his head.
“Don’t lie to me, Alex. We used to spend time together, and now you don’t remain in a room with me more than the necessary amount of time to be considered polite. Don’t even get me started on the fact you haven’t been alone with me since the engagement party.
“What I don’t get is that you’re the one who initiated that night. You’re the one who made the first move, not me. I haven’t been some clingy chick you picked up in a bar, so what gives?” Holding him in place, I glare up at him, locking his gaze in mine.
He sighs and runs a hand down his face before looking at my hand still grasping his shirt. “I’ve been a dick for no reason, haven’t I?”
“Well, I wasn’t going to use those exact words, but yeah.” Grinning, I drop my hand when he chuckles softly.
“In the heat of the moment, all I could think about was you and how much I wanted to feel you. Afterwards, all I could think about was everyone else and what they would do if they found out. I don’t want a relationship and the pressure would be there, I know how Emma thinks.” His smirk drops into a frown as I gape at him.
“That is the lamest thing I’ve ever heard. Your hot factor just dropped by two points.” Crossing my arms over my chest, I narrow my eyes. His Adam’s apple bobs as he swallows, but there is a slight smirk he’s fighting at my comment. Cocking my hip out, I scowl. “Let’s go through these one at a time. First off, no one knows what happened and there is no reason for them to know. Second, you’re assuming I want a relationship; that’s something I haven’t had the desire for in a long time. Been there, done that, and I
have the emotional scarring as a souvenir.”
Alex has made me wonder, hope even, but for the most part I’m still leery of entering a relationship, especially with someone as skittish as Alex, so I don’t feel like I’m lying.
“My hot factor?” Alex grins at me, cocking his head to the side in a way that is too cute. He’s trying to distract me, but it won’t work.
“Seriously? That’s what you took from that?” Shaking my head, I step toward him and place my hand on his chest, pressing my body into his. For a moment, all I can think about is the hard muscle beneath my hand and remembering the way it looked when he pounded into me.
Grinding my teeth, I focus back on the man before me. “All I want is someone I trust to have hot sex with. Get your head out of your ass and think about it. If that’s not what you want, fine, but we’re friends Alex, and it hurts my feelings that it’s so easy for you to forget that.”
Lifting onto my toes, I press a chaste kiss to his lips, drawing away before he can react. Brushing past him, I saunter to my house.
I’m not a pushover, and I’m not going to let him get away with this shitty behavior any more.
About Ashley Erin
Ashley Erin lives in Alberta, Canada where winter and summer compete to take over. She wears flip flops as soon as it’s above freezing, because her hatred of socks outweighs her dislike of snow. Her boyfriend stays with her despite a penchant for adopting rescued cats and dogs without permission. Their two dogs and four cats are spoiled rotten. When Ashley isn’t writing, she is reading or working with horses.
Ashley is a self-published author of contemporary and new adult romance. Follow her on Facebook to keep up with her current and upcoming releases.
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